NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 19980018301: X-Ray Spectral Variability in NGC 7469
Publication date 1996-05-20
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), SEYFERT GALAXIES, X RAY SPECTRA, VARIABILITY, SATELLITE OBSERVATION, X RAY ASTRONOMY, GINGA SATELLITE, ROSAT MISSION, ACCRETION DISKS, IONIZATION, MODELS, ABSORBERS, ENERGY BANDS, TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION, BLACK BODY RADIATION, Leighly, Karen, Kunieda, Hideyo, Awaki, Hisamitsu, Tsuruta, Sachiko,
We present analyses of two Ginga observations and two observations from the ROSAT database of NGC 7469, focusing on the spectral variability observed on timescales of days and longer. During the 1988 Ginga observation, the hardness ratio (8-21 keV/3.4-5.7 keV) increased significantly as the total flux decreased by 30%. As the spectrum is well fit by the reflection model and since the spectra variability dominates the higher energy band, this could be explained by either a variation in the power law index or in the effective covering fraction of the reflecting material. This ambiguity is inherent in reflection modeling of Ginga spectra from moderate flux Seyfert 1 galaxies. Assuming that the power law index did not change, we find that the reflected flux is consistent with being constant, suggesting that much of the reflecting material may be located more than 3 light-days from the continuum source with the molecular torus being a plausible site. This scenario is also supported by the report of a narrow rather than broad iron K-alpha line in the ASCA data by Guainazzi et al. NGC 7469 was faint during the 1989 Ginga observation, but variability was observed with doubling timescale of 5 hr, and the spectrum was harder. A reflection component could not be constrained, and the change in the spectrum could be explained by an increase in neutral absorption. The brighter of two ROSAT spectra was significantly softer, and in both spectra there was evidence of spectral complexity, as has been previously reported by Turner, George, & Mushotzky and Brandt et al. The spectrum could be fit by a variety of two-component models, including a warm absorber model, an ionized disk model, and a thermal model with single-component blackbody spectrum, but joint fitting of the 1988 average Ginga spectrum and the nonsimultaneous ROSAT spectra favored thermal models, and other models required an anomalously high reflection ratio. This model is supported by the observation of a soft excess component and the lack of ionized absorption edges in the ASCA spectrum by Guainazzi et al. The long-term spectral variability could be explained by relative variability between the power-law and soft excess component normalizations, perhaps implying that hard X-ray reprocessing in thermal material does not dominate on long timescales.
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